IGNITE Awards Honoree: Gaitrie Subryan, Devi Bollywood Performing Arts
Gaitrie started Devi Bollywood in 2013 to serve the community. She wanted to serve a greater calling by offering something new and exciting to Buffalo. When she began offering Bollywood classes, workshops and programs to individuals from all backgrounds, she noticed that people were genuinely interested and excited about learning about Indian culture and traditions. Starting Devi Bollywood was the best decision she has ever made because it makes her happy, and she also believes that she is living her purpose.
She says her work drives her. She’s constantly motivated by the people and the community. She’ll see someone who is shy and uncomfortable walk into a class or program and then she’ll get to see them BLOOM and flourish with confidence. When working with students as a teaching artist, Gaitrie feels as though she gets to see them tap into their emotions, feelings and bodies. “Their excitement is my excitement,” she says. As a performer, she loves being on stage, the energy of performing and the curiosity of the audience.
Gaitrie says she encountered many obstacles along the way. One of the biggest ones was what we all faced together, the pandemic. She was very nervous about what the future of the arts would look like. Thankfully, studios and opportunities to perform started to open back up. To get back into the studio working, Gaitrie was awarded a grant from NYS to work on a project that is titled “Speak Up, Speak Out”. It is a collaborative movement-based project that focuses on bringing the issue of domestic violence out of the shadows while encouraging healing conversations through the transformative power of dance, music and storytelling. It was and continues to be a challenging time because there are still many unknowns, but we hope that we can continue to create, connect, and share this art form with others.
Gaitrie’s advice to other women is to allow yourself to be bold, creative, and fearless. Some people may not understand and support your vision, but that should not stop you from moving forward and finding the ones that do.
That’s all so awesome! Congratulations to you, Gaitrie!